Everyone has their favorite TV shows. Some people love comedies, while others lean on dramas -- plus there's the mixed bag of musicals, action-centric series and documentaries. Chances are there's one thing we can all agree on, though, and that's how great the TV shows within TV shows are.

Whether it's "South Park's" "Terrence & Phillip" or the numerous faux "Saturday Night Live" shows -- or even "Up Late with Miss Piggy," from the dearly departed "The Muppets" -- the levels of TV inception keep things interesting and offers a further look into the universe each show is looking to build with its characters and stories.

Picking just 10 of the best shows within shows is no easy task -- but it's one we're up to. Did your favorite make the list?

'The Itchy & Scratchy Show'

How can you not include a classic like "Itchy and Scratchy?" Half of the fun of watching just about any episode of "The Simpsons" is hoping to catch a glimpse of this demented take on "Tom & Jerry." Somehow, even after over two decades, it's surprising the levels of violence these cartoon shorts can get away with on network TV.

'Zombie High'

"Zombie High" is newer than anything else on the list, but we can't help our love for it. The zombie apocalypse drama is a favorite of the "iZombie" crew, which provides a nice little hit of irony. What's more, when Liv (Rose McIver) actually got to visit the show's set in Season 2 it was so incredibly meta that we're surprised "iZombie" didn't cave in on itself.

'The Valley'

We never actually saw a single episode of "The Valley," but the way the nonsensical drama on this teen soap opera always seemed to parallel so nicely with the craziness happening on "The O.C." was pretty awesome. Like Summer (Rachel Bilson), we'd probably spend hours and hours binge-watching "The Valley" and obsessing over the cast.


When "The Girlie Show" wasn't working out on "30 Rock," it was retooled into "TGS" with new face of the brand Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan). It was never quite the caliber of "Saturday Night Live," where Morgan and creator Tina Fey got their start, but "TGS" deserves a spot on this list.

'The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show'

This particular entry is a bit different from the others. It wasn't introduced on "Parks and Recreation" until the final season -- but it did get its own dedicated episode when Andy (Chris Pratt) said goodbye to his audience. The kids show was about as zany and off-the-wall as you would expect something from Andy's brain to be -- and there was always room for his friends to play along.


Has anything nailed the show within a show as well as "iCarly?" We know what you're thinking, it's a kids show. But if that's all you can muster for a series that ran seven seasons, you're not giving it enough credit. "iCarly" showed a predominantly child cast running their own web series at a time when sites like YouTube were just coming into full bloom. It stands as an idea of how the next generation will make and release their content. (We also happen to like random dancing.)


If you've seen "The Bachelor," chances are you know all about "UnReal" and its take on the show, "Everlasting." Thanks to that faux series, many have gotten an inside look at exactly what it takes to create a reality show like "The Bachelor." Who knew what goes on behind the scenes is just as dramatic as what's happening on camera?


What's that? There's a show within the "Supernatural" world? With the popularity of "reality" shows like "Ghost Hunters," it was only a matter of time before "Supernatural" -- a show that loves to dabble in the meta -- would get its own. When "Ghostfacers" was born, it was a dream come true -- and a thorn in the side of the Winchester boys.

'Mock Trial with J. Reinhold'

This one is perhaps the strangest you'll find. Thanks to "Arrested Development," the world knows just how good of a judge the actor Judge Reinhold would be. The answer is: Not very good -- but at least William Hung was there to provide music. If you don't remember who that is, revisit very early seasons of "American Idol" and prepare to be amazed...

'Troy & Abed in the Morning'

This is a show within a show that wasn't actually a show at all. (Say that 10 times fast.) TV has given us few friendships as great as "Community" besties Troy (Donald Glover) and Abed (Danny Pudi). It was only natural to take that relationship to the next level, with their own imaginary morning show. Raise your hand if you have a "Troy & Abed in the Morning" coffee mug...

Posted by:Chris E. Hayner

Chris E. Hayner is equal parts nerd, crazy person and coffee. He watches too much TV, knows more about pro wrestling than you do and remembers every single show from the TGIF lineup. You may have seen him as a pro-shark protester in "Sharknado 3." His eventual memoir will be called "You're Wrong, Here's Why..." TV words to live by: "I'm a firm believer that sometimes it's right to do the wrong thing."